Riding a motorcycle can be one of the most enjoyable experiences. However, if you are not careful, it can also be one of the deadliest. Below are some common safety tips that will help you be a smart motorcycle rider. If you are a first time motorcycle rider, you should take a course on how to properly ride a bike.

It is a good idea if you examine the the safety check guide and how to keep your bike clean pages. First time riders should check out the guide for beginners.

Wear the Proper Attire
Wearing the right apparel while riding a motorcycle will not only make your ride more comfortable, it can save your life!

Helmets - A helmet that is DOT (Department of Transportation) approved is a must! There is not much between you and the road if you ever get into an accident. Without a helmet, you are very likely to be seriously injured, perhaps even fatally! Learn more about the motorcycle helmet laws where you live.

- Eye protection like goggles or shatter proof sunglasses are also important. If you are riding your motorcycle with no eye protection you are vulnerable to something, like a bug, getting into your eye and impairing your ability to drive properly.

- Wearing long sleeve shirts or jacket and long pants are a must, even during the summer. Again, if you crash, there is not much between you and the road. Crashing while wearing improper clothes will leave you seriously cut and hurt.

Wearing sturdy shoes with good grip is also important. You want to be able to not have to worry about slipping while riding.

More about buying protective gear.

Always make sure that your tires have enough tread and air pressure. Get more info about buying the right tires for your bike.

Ride Smart
Learn what you should do in the event that get into an accident.

Night Riding - When riding your motorcycle at night, make sure your headlight is on and wear reflective or bright clothes so that you can be seen by everyone on the road.  

- When you decide to stop on your motorcycle, make sure you use your brakes at the same time.  Typically, when driving conditions are favorable, your front brakes make up approximately two thirds of your motorcycles stopping power. The amount of pressure you use will depend on how good a rider you are, what kind of bike you have and how the road conditions are.

Handling Curves
- Curves should be handled with care. You want to decrease speed when approaching curves. As you go through the curve, start to increase speed. Increasing speed will create stability. If you go into a curve to fast, stability can not be accomplished.

Handling Stuff on the Road
- When you see sand, water and/or mud on the street, you need to drive carefully by decelerating. You also want to stay away from changing your direction or speed as you drive through foreign substances.

- If possible, try and avoid driving in the rain. The roads are very bad for motorcycle riders when it rains. The roads become very slick. If you do ride in the rain, keep a greater distance than you normally would from the car in front of you.

Be Prepared
- Check the weather forecast before you go out to ride. Also, try and foresee any issues that may affect riding conditions.

- When you have a passenger on your bike it is your responsibility to inform them where to keep there hands and feet at all times. Teach them how to lean while taking turns. You also need to make sure that your passenger is protected with the same safety gear and clothes you are wearing. Riding with a passenger makes balance and control of your bike a great challenge.  Make sure your passenger is wearing all of the proper riding gear, knows where and how to sit, where to put their feet and hands and how to lean through turns.  Tell them to look over your shoulder in the direction of the turn.  Remember that the passenger is "your" responsibility and should be properly educated, prepared and ready to ride.

Don't Drive Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol
- Period!

Riding in a Group - If you intend on riding with a group, it is very important that everyone in your group understands the basic motorcycle hand signals.

Driving in Traffic - Never be aggressive while riding in traffic. You don't want to put yourself in a situation where you can not see a hazardous situation until it is too late. It is also important that you make yourself seen to the other vehicles while on the open road.

We invite beginner riders to check out the section on learning how to ride a motorcycle from a professional.

Causes of Accidents
Motorcycle Riding Laws


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